The year is 2018. There are no wars. There is no crime. There is only...the Game. In a world where ruthless corporations reign supreme, this vicious and barbaric 'sport is the only outlet for the pent-up anger and frustrations of the masses.Tuned to their televisions, the people watch Rollerball : a brutal mutation of football, motocross and hockey. Jonathan E. (James Caan, Misery) is the champion playera man too talented for his own good. The Corporation has taken away the woman Jonathan loves (Maud Adams, Octopussy) but it can't take away his souleven if diabolical corporate head (John Houseman, The Paper Chase) tells him he d better retire...or sufferthe old-fashioned way.With its surrealistic imagery and tense action sequences, Rollerball grips you by the heartand never lets you go!
In the year 2018, violence and crime have been totally eliminated from society and given outlet in the brutal blood sport of rollerball, a high-velocity blend of football, hockey, and motor-cross racing sponsored by the multinational corporations that now control the world following the collapse of traditional politics. James Caan plays Jonathan E., the reigning superstar of rollerball, whose corporate controllers fear that Jonathan's popularity has endowed him with too much power. They begin to pressure him according to their own ruthless set of rules, but Jonathan has rules of his own--the rules of a man determined to retain his soul in a world gone mad. As directed by Norman Jewison (who was enjoying a peak of success during the early and mid-1970s), Rollerball
creates a believable society that's been rendered passive and compliant by the homogenization of corporate dictatorships, where the control and flow of information is the only currency of any importance. It's a world in which natural human aggressions have been sublimated and vented through the religious fervor toward rollerball and its players. Rollerball
now looks like one of those 1970s science fiction films (another example being Logan's Run
) that seems a bit dated and quaint, but its ideas are still provocative and fascinating, and the production is visually impressive. The DVD includes full-screen and widescreen versions of the film, audio commentary by director Norman Jewison, a behind-the-scenes featurette, an interactive "rollergame," trivia, and production notes. --Jeff Shannon